A warm cup of coffee always seems to make our day so much better, but what if you’re breastfeeding? Will drinking coffee affect your baby? Must you let go of your caffeine fix forever? We have some good news for you, Moms! Recent studies have shown that you can still have your daily pick-me-up even while you’re breastfeeding, as long as you keep it in moderation, of course. Here is a breakdown of what you need to know about caffeine intake while breastfeeding. Read on to find out more!
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics, 200 to 300 mg of caffeine or around 2 to 3 cups of coffee a day (470 to 710 ml) is generally safe. But do not go beyond that! Excessive caffeine intake, say 10 cups of coffee, might cause your baby to be irritable and fussy. Too much coffee is not good for you either, Mom. It could cause you dizziness, anxiety, and insomnia. So, stick to the recommended 300mg maximum amount to prevent any negative effects on your health.
Small amounts of caffeine, around 1%, pass through breastmilk. Research shows that this amount does not have any harmful effects on your baby, though. A study in the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that drinking coffee while breastfeeding does not affect sleeping patterns of 3-month-old babies. But do take note that babies who are 6-months old and younger take a longer time metabolizing caffeine and some may be more sensitive to caffeine intake. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they will be sensitive to caffeine forever. What would help is strictly adhering to the recommended amount of caffeine intake to avoid any health problems.
A moderate amount of caffeine does not have any negative effects on the health of your baby. However, just as a precaution, observe if your baby is getting fussy, irritable, or sleepless. If you notice your baby exhibiting any of these signs, then you may want to either lessen your coffee consumption even more or cut it out of your diet altogether for a week or so. It would also be best to consult your doctor to be sure.
It’s good to be aware of what other beverages or food items may contain caffeine, so that you stick to the 300mg limit. Black tea, Green tea, chocolate or cocoa, energy drinks, and carbonated drinks all have caffeine content. So, if you’re already taking your cup of coffee, it may be better to avoid other caffeinated drinks. You can also swap your coffee for tea on some days if you prefer.
Don’t worry, Mom. Caffeine will not reduce your milk supply. There is no evidence that shows coffee reduces the milk you produce. Just keep the recommended amount in mind, and you’ll be fine.
- La Leche League International. Caffeine.
- Santos, Ina., Matijasevich, Alicia., Domingues, Marlos. Maternal Caffeine Consumption and Infant Nighttime Waking.
- Bjarnadottir, Adda. Caffeine While Breastfeeding: How Much Can You Safely Have?
- Villines, Zawn. Can you drink coffee while breastfeeding?
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Maternal Diet.
- Swanson, Wendy. Is it safe to drink coffee if I am breastfeeding?
- Bonyata, Kelly. Breastfeeding and Caffeine.
- Patel, Shivani. 6 factors that won’t decrease your breast milk supply.